Re-Membering Barbie

I could recognize those eyes anywhere… those little pursed lips, those tiny little ears and permanently tip-toed feet. As a child, I would hold her face about 2 inches away from mine and memorize each and every detail. Each face slightly different. As you can imagine, when I saw this…

…a flood of memories came rushing back. I was transported to the floor of our basement playroom. Orange shag carpet, light filtering in from the single window, the floor littered with dozens of naked Barbies. My sister and I would mosey down there and just plop ourselves in the middle of the madness. We had a large wicker basket that resembled a treasure chest with a hinged lid. That was where the Barbies were supposed to live. However, they seemed to be more comfortable just sleeping on the furry carpet.

We had a huge cardboard under-the-bed storage type box that was just bursting with doll clothes. From ballgowns to bikinis, some of the most fun was sifting through that box looking for the perfect outfit or trying to find that other pesky hot pink high heel.

We could never remember whose Barbie was whose, so lots of the time we would ‘auction’ them off before playing.  Sounds complicated, but it usually consisted of me trying to convince my little sister that the Barbie with the squooshed-on head or the sticky rubber band in her hair was ‘pretty’ and that she would really like playing with her. (Oh the things big sisters do, and oh the things sweet little sisters fall for. Hopefully there are no hard feelings Katie. I was six, and bossy and almost impossible to play with.)
Our Barbies lived the most adventurous life. We would take them diving in our swimming pool, style their hair with bows three times the size of their heads, and even smear them in peanut butter to make them look like creepy monsters. I know, I know…that one’s a little over the top.  

So, as you see, our day-to-day lives as little kiddos were inundated with Barbies. That’s why I fell head over heels with Margaux Lange’s whimsical recreations of this classic toy. I want one of each!
And before you ask…yes, yes, that is Miss Barbie’s bust, which makes quite a beautiful heart if you ask me. Clever, Margaux, real clever. 
And Ken…oh, Ken. I think we all had a crush on you at some point. I wish I had this necklace to wear over my heart. Thump, thump.

I know most of you have some fun Barbie memories hidden up there in your noggin. Pull ’em out, dust ’em off, I’d love to hear all about it.

Posted 9/19/10, Topic: Blog

  • shea
    September 20, 2010 at 11:50 am |

    Okay. So, while I was initially disturbed by most of these pieces, I do love the kissing one and the shoe ring. You can have the rest.
    As far as Barbie stories go I wasn't allowed to have a Barbie until I was in 3rd or 4th grade due to her anatomically "correct" body which probably gave all of us some degree of complex about our own body image. At least that was the belief in my house. I think the most common rite of passage for the few Barbies I had was a hair style at Salon Shea. She wasn't truly loved until she had singed hair from a curling iron or a stylish crew cut.

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